What is the deal with shipping to Canada? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
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What is the deal with shipping to Canada?

This subject has been discussed in a number of obtuse ways, but I don't get it. Why does it cost so much to ship anything to Canada?

I was at our local post office lately and they had the flat rate shipping boxes on display. The large flat rate box was $16.85 to ship anything that fits inside anywhere in the USA. To ship to Canada, same box - $53.95!

So I can send a box of lead to my brother in California for 1/3 the price that I can send the same package to a friend in Windsor, 35 miles away.

What don't I understand about Canada's laws that keeps shipping so abysmally high?
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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What adds to the cost is customs brokerage fees.

UPS really rips people off, big time, charging astronomical fees for a minutes work. In some cases these fees are greater than the cost of the item. I have gone so far as not bought things solely because they will only ship UPS. There are MANY other Canadians who feel the same way.

For work and personal shipping, which I do a fair bit of, my preference is always the USPS/Canada Post route. I have always had great service. The shipping charges are usually just a bit more than USP, but they include all brokerage fees.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
What adds to the cost is customs brokerage fees.

UPS really rips people off, big time, charging astronomical fees for a minutes work. In some cases these fees are greater than the cost of the item. I have gone so far as not bought things solely because they will only ship UPS. There are MANY other Canadians who feel the same way.
Jim I think you have it right in regards to what UPS charges - but I am still not convinced as to the reasons why. Canadians do not need to pay anything extra on an item worth CAN$20 or less - no duty or taxes on the item. Yet UPS still charges amounts that are way over the top for such things. Yet many online stores will ship the same item for free to a friend who lives 2 miles off the border - go figure. Some times if you call the company in the US you are buying from and ask if they will just ship the item to you using parcel post they will.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:43 AM   #4
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A big business for US border towns near populated areas is temporary post boxes (mailing addresses). Canadians then can often get free shipping to there, and just go and pick it up themselves. Unfortunately, I am 3 hours from the border, and there is not much in Montana for another ways anyway. I know this is huge in Southern Ontario.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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It has nothing to do with the government, its just the shipping companies ripping you off. the same is happening everywhere ever since some genius dreamed up "fuel surcharge" for the airlines. UPS charges a minimum of $15 for any item over $20.00,and it grows as the value goes up Canada post charges $5
most of the time I can ship from Ukraine to Canada cheaper than from the US.

Ok rant off, sorry its a sore point with me
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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It has nothing to do with the government, its just the shipping companies ripping you off.......
It would appear that your postal service is colluding or that would be a lower cost alternative. No?
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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. I know this is huge in Southern Ontario.
Big in BC as well - mailbox service is a booming biz in Blaine Washington.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:20 PM   #8
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An interesting article on this subject
Why Canada Post loves parcel delivery: Olive | Toronto Star
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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Maybe I'm just dense, but I still don't get it.

Seems like using the postal system it shouldn't cost and arm and a leg to ship into Canada.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:16 PM   #10
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Maybe I'm just dense, but I still don't get it.

Seems like using the postal system it shouldn't cost and arm and a leg to ship into Canada.
Whenever I have a purchase shipped from US to Canada, I always look for a company that ships using USPS and Canada Post, as this is almost always the most cost effective. When companies insist on using UPS, that is the highest costs, followed by the courier companies such as FedEx, Purolator, etc. I will never purchase anything again where UPS is used, as I have been burned too often by unexpectedly high customs brokerage fees they charge on top of their fairly high shipping costs.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:24 PM   #11
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I was at our local post office lately and they had the flat rate shipping boxes on display. The large flat rate box was $16.85 to ship anything that fits inside anywhere in the USA. To ship to Canada, same box - $53.95!

So, regarding my example above, why the huge bump in cost using a US post office to Canada post office routing? Is it customs or high shipping within Canada?

Would it cost a similar amount to ship from Canada to a point in the USA?
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
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I found sending things First Class to Canada about the same as to US. The "flat rate" and Priority mail are for some reason are ridiculously priced.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:19 PM   #13
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then ad this to the mix.

'Country pricing' a cause of Canada-U.S. price gaps - Canada - CBC News
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Maybe I'm just dense, but I still don't get it.

Seems like using the postal system it shouldn't cost and arm and a leg to ship into Canada.
I agree. I don't get it either. Usually the cost for most things in the US is lower, so you can make up the postal cost. So you pay $10 less for the item but $5 extra for the shipping. You are still $5 ahead.

A lot of people have talked about brokerage fees here. I have had similar experiences with this. UPS has ripped me off with brokerage fees, and generally I refuse to do business with them. Brokerage fees are usually added after the item has been shipped though. They are IN ADDITION to the cost to mail the item in the first place. Usually you pay these when the package arrives at your doorstep.

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Old 02-28-2013, 12:45 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ice-breaker

Whenever I have a purchase shipped from US to Canada, I always look for a company that ships using USPS and Canada Post, as this is almost always the most cost effective. When companies insist on using UPS, that is the highest costs, followed by the courier companies such as FedEx, Purolator, etc. I will never purchase anything again where UPS is used, as I have been burned too often by unexpectedly high customs brokerage fees they charge on top of their fairly high shipping costs.
I just looked at both option and UPS beat out USPS/CP by $36 to $54. Shipping was for a $30 personal blender that a young Canadian girl wanted in a US only color. I was kicking myself over it because I spent so much time getting the right customs paperwork that I could have mailed it from within Canada a few weeks later. Costs are way too high to ship things to Canada.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:10 AM   #16
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I just looked at both option and UPS beat out USPS/CP by $36 to $54. Shipping was for a $30 personal blender that a young Canadian girl wanted in a US only color. I was kicking myself over it because I spent so much time getting the right customs paperwork that I could have mailed it from within Canada a few weeks later. Costs are way too high to ship things to Canada.
Don't be fooled. UPS will add an additional $50 brokerage fee to this delivery. Dispite the numbers you quoted, USPS is likely still less expensive.

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Old 02-28-2013, 09:30 AM   #17
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I'm as happy to bash UPS as anybody else, but to be fair: whether or not you get hit with a stupidly high brokerage fee depends on the particular UPS service. I think it's UPS world-wide express shipping that doesn't carry a brokerage fee.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:33 PM   #18
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Shipping within Canada is cheaper than shipping across the border, shipping from Canada to US is cheaper than shipping US to Canada, I have never been happy with UPS, their fees are exorbitant, and they don't know customs rules well. On at least 4 ocaisions I have had to fight with them over brokerage fees, as they "didn't know" items $20.00 or less Canadian were duty free., or they counted the shipping cost as part of the item.
Our postal rates are much higher than the US, but I prefer it to couriers.

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Old 02-28-2013, 05:03 PM   #19
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They also dont seem to know that an item made in the US is duty free. They also dont seem to have any idea as to what items regardless of where they were made are duty free either - such as most photography gear. You would think they would have an automated system in that regard but they do not.

Best advise I can give people is have a friend in the US who you can send the goods to - a lot of on line stores offer free shipping within the US. Then have your friend send it to you via parcel post or bring it up on their next visit or meet them part way on a camping trip. I have a friend who lives state side who receives goods for about 4 or 5 of her northern camping friends on a regular bases. A bit of a laugh as she often has items land on her door step and then has a puzzling moment while she tries to recall what she may have purchased and when. Has had everything from solar panels to propane campfires and clothing land on her door step & half the time we forget to tell her we are having it sent to her. Last fall was a particularly heavy shopping time for her northern friends so she meet everyone at a campground just a couple of miles south of the border and arrived with the back of her truck full and let everyone take what they had bought home to Canada themselves. It was bit like Christmas as some had forgotten what they had ordered.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #20
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In most cases it is not that UPS is charging duty, almost nothing I order is subject to duty anyway. Their brokerage charge is clearing customs with the merchandise. The thing is, that they charge on a sliding scale for this fee, costing more the higher the cost of the item. When in fact, it takes the same amount of time to fill in the paperwork, a few seconds.
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